||24-hour endurance bike race in Dubai ended in tragedy on Thursday after a cyclist crashed on the Al Mamzar Park course and sustained severe neck injuries.
Thomas Graessler, 45, was competing in a four-man team and was just one hour into the race when the accident happened. It appears that the accident happened at the base of a steep flight of stairs, halfway round the 4km track. Two doctors competing on other teams stopped to administer CPR before the ambulance arrived.
Team members Stefan Bode, Stefan Mora and Tina Achcenich were too shocked to discuss the incident. An air ambulance lifted Graessler, suffering severe neck injuries, to the Rashid Hospital Trauma Center. Paramedic Mohammad Akbar said: “He is critically ill. He suffered neck injuries and ceased breathing at the scene although his pulse was revived after CPR.”
The 24-hour endurance race “24h of Dubai” was organised by German sports events company Skyder. It was the first mountain bike endurance race to be held in the UAE with 73 participants in teams of one, two and four. It was stopped after the accident occurred. Teams travelled from 18 countries to compete in the event, including a team of two Emirati competitors.
As soon as the incident took place, organizers informed the other participants and, with their agreement, decided to stop the race immediately.